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Department of Archaeology



I received my PhD from the Department of Archaeology at the University of York in 2014. My doctoral research involved developing collaborative methodologies for working archaeologically with homeless people, documenting how heritage can function in socially useful and transformative ways. My monograph, ‘Homeless Heritage’ was published by Oxford University Press in 2017 and it won the Society of Historical Archaeology’s James Deetz Book Award 2019.

Between 2018-2022, I held a British Academy postdoctoral research fellowship at the School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, where my project was called ‘Migrant Materialities’ and focused on the role of material and visual culture in situations of human displacement in Europe. I am an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London and co-editor of the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory (CHAT) book series, published by BAR Publications.


I am a contemporary archaeologist, meaning that I use archaeological approaches to better understand the contemporary world. My work focuses on the material and visual culture of marginalised groups, particularly people affected by homelessness and displacement. Drawing on theory drawn from archaeology, anthropology, political science, and eco-feminism, I locate social inequalities in the present and situate these within historical context. I am interested in how the past lingers and co-constitutes the present. I am developing heritage ethics as an ethic of care, where past-facing disciplines and institutions which deal with the past - tangible and intangible heritage work – have important roles to play in preserving the plurality of ways to be human, to promote and co-create more egalitarian and sustainable futures.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Kiddey, Rachael (2017) Homeless Heritage: collaborative social archaeology as therapeutic practice, Oxford, Oxford University Press CIT: 57

Jeffrey H. Altschul, Keith W. Kintigh Mark Aldenderfer, Elise Alonzie, Ian Armit Juan Antonio Barcelo, Christopher S. Beekman, Penny Bickle, Douglas W. Bird, Scott E. Ingram, Elena Isayev, Andrew W. Kandell, Rachael Kiddey, Helène Timpoko Kienon-Kabore, Franco Niccoluccio, Corey S. Ragsdale, Beth K. Scaffidi, and Scott G. Ortman, (2020) ‘To understand how migrations affect human securities, look to the past’, 


Kiddey, Rachael (2020), “I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want!” Open Archaeology that is Collaborative, Participatory, Public, and Feminist. Norwegian Archaeological Review DOI: 10.1080/00293652.2020.1749877 CIT: 9


Kiddey, Rachael (2019), Reluctant Refuge: taking an archaeological approach to sites of temporary refugee shelter in Athens, Greece. Journal of Refugee Studies CIT:3


Kiddey, Rachael (2017), From the Ground Up: cultural heritage practices as

tools for empowerment in the Homeless Heritage project, International Journal of Heritage Studies, DOI: 10.1080/13527258.2016.1274669 CIT:16


Brate, Mats & Kiddey, Rachael (2015), ‘Journeys in the City: Homeless Archaeologists or archaeologies of homelessness’, Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, vol.2, issue 2, pp. 235-243. CIT: 7


Graves-Brown, Paul & Kiddey, Rachael (2015), Reclaiming the Streets. The Role of Archaeology in Deconstructing the Myths of Contemporary Society. In ‘Archaeology: myths within and without’, Archaeological Review from Cambridge, vol.30, issue 2, pp. 135-147.


Crea, Gillian., Dafnis, Andrew., Hallam, Jane., Kiddey, Rachael. & Schofield, John (2014), ‘Turbo Island, Bristol: excavating a contemporary homeless place’, Post-medieval Archaeology, 48/1, pp.133-150. CIT:96

Kiddey, Rachael. & Schofield, John (2011), ‘Embrace the Margins: adventures in archaeology and homelessness’, Public Archaeology, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp.4–22.


Kiddey, Rachael (2016), Hand in Hand: homelessness, heritage and collaborative approaches to the material past. In ‘The Routledge Companion to Contemporary Anthropology’, Coleman, S., Hyatt, Susan B. & Kingsolver, Ann, E. (eds). London, Routledge CIT:3


Kiddey, Rachael (2016), ‘Homeless habitus: an archaeology of homeless places.’ In ‘InHabit: the experience and materiality of domestic life’, Buxton, A. (ed). Oxford, Lang


Kiddey, Rachael & Schofield, John (2015), “Keeping it real”: Social Sustainability in the Homeless Heritage Project in Bristol and York (U.K.) in Theory and Practice in Heritage and Sustainability: Between Past and Future, Auclair, E. & Fairclough, G. (eds). London, Routledge, pp. 40-53. CIT: 7


Kiddey, Rachael (2014), ‘Punks & drunks: counter mapping homeless heritage’ in ‘Who needs experts? Counter-mapping cultural heritage’ (ed) Schofield, J., Farnham, Ashgate, pp. 165-181. CIT:24


Schofield, John., Lashua, Brett. and Kiddey, Rachael (2012), ‘People and Landscape’ in (ed) Skeates, McDavid & Carman (2012), The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, pp. 296-318.


Other publications

Kiddey, Rachael & Schofield, John (2010), ‘Digging for (Invisible) People’ British Archaeology, 113 (July/August): pp.18–23.


Kiddey, Rachael & Schofield, John (2009), ‘Homeless Archaeology’ in The Big Issue 874: pp.14-15.




Teaching and Supervisions


2019 ‘Postgraduate Summer School on Ethnography’, (lecturer), Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Italy (approx. 20 students).


2018 – 2019 ‘Material Culture Studies’, postgraduate course (lecturer), School of Archaeology, University of Oxford. Seminar based interdisciplinary postgraduate course which examined the ways in which material things are investigated in relation to human life in archaeology, anthropology and related social sciences, and used the ethnographic collections of the Pitt Rivers Museum to introduce the collections-based research (4 students).


2018 ‘Heritage Management’ MA Seminar, (lecturer), School of Humanities, Bath Spa University. Seminar based interdisciplinary module aimed at international cultural heritage management and museum studies students (approx. 25 students).


2018 – 2019 ‘Archaeologies of Conflict’ MA Seminar (guest lecturer), Department of Archaeology, University College London (approx.15 students)

2018 ‘Migration and Conflict Archaeology’ MA Seminar (guest lecturer), School of Critical Heritage Studies, Universitet van Amsterdam (approx. 15 students)


Undergraduate teaching experience

2021 ‘Culture at War’ (co-lecturer) School of Archaeology, University of Oxford. I have co-developed this undergraduate module, preparing course materials and leading on ‘Colonialism and its aftermath: a dynamic relationship’ and ‘Conflict Aftermaths: Displacement, Refugees, and Migration’ (6 students)

Research supervision: 

I would be happy to supervise students wishing to explore topics such as: contemporary archaeology, the socio-politics of the past, human displacement and migration, representation of the refugee in museums and popular culture; archaeology/anthropology of nationalism and identity.

Other Professional Activities

Co-editor of a new book series on Contemporary Archaeology, to be published by BAR Publishing (Oxford).


                                    Academic Editor at the Independent Social Research Foundation – – where I commissioned articles and edited the quarterly academic Bulletin 


Regular reviewer of articles submitted to the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Public Archaeology, Current Anthropology, Norwegian Archaeological Review, North American Archaeologist, and Political Geography.

Job Titles

Teaching Associate in Heritage Studies

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Museum Studies
Material Culture

Contact Details

rk716 [at]


Person keywords: 
Contemporary archaeology; ethics; marginalisation; identity; displacement
Heritage Studies
Material Culture
Geographical areas: